Conflict is any opportunity to engage in a conversation with someone who disagrees with you (including yourself). It doesn’t have to be a difficult experience or an unpleasant one, but often the way we view it already sets it up to be just that. This is why we need to examine the construct, deconstruct it and then begin to reconstruct it so it serves us well.

I will be honest. All of this takes a great deal of work, years in fact, oh heck… I’m not gonna lie. It can take a lifetime. With all you have to do in your life, why would you work on something that makes you this uncomfortable? That’s the first reason right there.

Anything that makes us feel as uncomfortable as conflict makes most of us feel needs to be examined fully and challenged.

The second good reason is that unlike many things that make us uncomfortable, even fearful enough to avoid like flying, public speaking or swimming, conflict is something that we encounter almost every day so it benefits us greatly to just get this handled.

Handling this means we are going to get better at:

Our jobs
Making good decisions
Managing our emotions
Standing up for ourselves
Understanding other people
Setting boundaries
Difficult conversations
Managing stress
Sex ( Yes, you know how much conflict there is because you can’t speak up for yourself during sex?) Okay, maybe not you, I’m thinking of somebody else.

Getting better at viewing and engaging in conflict has a pretty long list of benefits. So, let’s keep going with the work.

Three Questions For Deconstructing The Construct of Conflict

What are two things that I think or do when conflict happens that do not produce good results?
Where did I get these thoughts, ideas, reactions or strategies from? Really trace them back.
What do I want to change them to?

Spend time with these questions, really examine them. This is not a quick ask and answer. The longer you look, the more you are likely to find. This is important work and only yours to do. If each of us does our own work, then we are that much closer to making major change in our lives and the world.

Take the Leadership Assessment Quiz to find out how health or unhealthy your team is.

Also, check out our next event called, Circling Back to Self: Women of Color Fighting for a Worthy Pause.

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